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Ravens News 6/30: Inside Intel and more

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Divisional Round - Tennessee Titans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

AFC North inside intel: Vital rookies, key position battles - Charley Casserly

IMPACT ROOKIES

Patrick Queen, inside linebacker: Look for Queen to become one of the team’s starting inside linebackers at some point in 2020. His athletic ability will allow him to match up with running backs and tight ends in coverage. And though he is undersized, his instincts and speed — coupled with the ability of offseason additions Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe to tie up blockers at the line — will allow Queen to run free and be a factor against the run, too.

J.K. Dobbins, running back: The former Ohio State star will mix into the rotation with Mark Ingram. However, Dobbins is a more explosive runner than Ingram and can provide big gains, especially with dual threat Lamar Jackson creating big holes in the defense. Dobbins will be especially valuable if Ingram gets injured or slows down in his age-30 season.

Malik Harrison, linebacker: He could very well start at the other inside linebacker position opposite Queen. Harrison, a true run stopper and physical presence at the point of attack, is a different style of player than Queen.

Which wide receiver will step up? Thanks to the Ravens’ dynamic rushing attack, the team’s wide receivers are often left in one-on-one situations downfield. The issue is that they don’t have a true No. 1 receiver or one that demands double coverage. The Ravens do have a diverse collection of skill sets among their group of young receivers, but they need someone to step up and be an outside force. Who will it be? Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has bulked up this offseason while recovering from foot surgery and could be even faster this year, but his durability is a concern. At 6-foot-4, Miles Boykin can be a vertical threat and showed flashes as a rookie. He’ll need to be more consistent in his catching and route running. Rookie Devin Duvernay is a versatile player with speed, so look for the Ravens to get creative with how they get him the ball (i.e. quick throws, screens, reverses, etc.). Jaleel Scott (6-5, 210 pounds) is another receiver to watch as a big target for Jackson.

Calais Campbell: Ravens may be ‘best shot’ at winning Super Bowl - Kevin Patra

“Honestly, it’s a great situation to be in,” Campbell told SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend. “The team is very, very talented. You look at Baltimore’s roster up and down and there’s talent everywhere. Throughout the draft, we got even stronger at some of the positions where we needed help. I’m really excited about the opportunity. I think, you know, this is one of those times where, I’ve been playing football for 12 years and I’ve been close a bunch — you know, I’ve played in what, three championships games, one Super Bowl — but I haven’t been able to win it yet. So, I feel like, this team, as talented as it is, this is probably going to be the best shot I have. And so, my mindset is just embrace it, treat every moment special and make each moment count.”

“I have some experience I can share with the guys,” he said. “You know, cause going 14-2, but not winning, you don’t get to start back at 14-2, you gotta start back at 0-0. You have to earn your way to that level again. I feel like I have have a lot of experience over the years of the good and bad and just how to prepare and stay focused. I mean, the team is talented ... the coaches are great. And it really comes down to execution and just setting yourself apart. During this time right now with COVID when it all became virtual, nobody can go into the building. Right now it really comes down to maturity, who’s gonna put the time in, who’s gonna put the effort in to be able to put themselves in position when we do come back not to miss a bit. Be able to just pick up and go. I don’t know if a lot of people are doing that right now, but I really feel like in Baltimore, we’re in a really good position.”

John Harbaugh Is Confident Ravens Can Keep Young Talent - Ryan Mink

“I’m really confident that a lot of these players want to be back. I know we want them back,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “So, I think that we’ll get a high number of these guys back.”

“I’m pretty sure that last year and the year before, everybody wasn’t talking about how talented we were or what a great roster we had,” Harbaugh said. “I think the guys have just done better than they were expected to do.”

“We have not been in good cap shape for the last six, seven years,” Harbaugh said. “Every year we’ve been behind the eight-ball with the cap, and that’s just the way it was. This year was a little better. Next year will be a lot better. With that, we’ll have to sign guys, but we’ll have money, too.”

“We’ll keep as many guys as we can. I am very optimistic about the fact that we have a good cap situation going forward,” Harbaugh said. “I’m very optimistic that Eric and his crew will just do an amazing job of figuring out the numbers. Hopefully the agents will work with us, so we’ll put it in perspective. We’ll keep the guys we can and the guys that we can’t, we’ll replace. We’ll keep building what we’re doing here.”